Can you be conscious in your dreams? Aren’t dreams different than our normal life?
We dream many things. Some are good, some are bad. When you get up, we realize that it was just a dream. Lucid dreams are different from normal dreams. In these dreams, you know that you are dreaming. These are very much different from your ordinary dreams. You can compare it with waking up in your dreams.
A real dream?
Dutch psychiatrist Frederik van Eeden coined the term lucid dreaming in 1913. From his description of lucid dreaming, it can be implied that consciousness may be there during sleep. Research found that lucid dreams are you dreams. And they happen during REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, which is seen during deep sleep.
Becoming a lucid dreamer
Surveys done by scientists have found that about 50% of people at least had one lucid dream in their lives. Many methods have been developed to teach people how to have a lucid dream.
Techniques that will help you master the skill
Keep a dream diary
Once you wake up, you should write down everything that you can remember. Why should you do that? It will help you to identify dream signs. You’ll find out as packs which will let you know that you are dreaming. Next time, when you see the signs, you’ll be able to understand that you are actually dreaming.
As a lucid dreamer, you can do a reality check by using a reminder. For example, you can look at your hand and ask yourself ‘Am I dreaming?’ Several times in a day. In your dream, your hand will not look the same twice, which will help you to understand that you are in a dream and will take you to lucidity.
Another reality check that you can do is reading. You cannot read in your dreams. It is because reading is a left brain skill and dreaming is done by the right brain.
The mild method
Stephen LaBerge, scientists and sleep researcher develop the Mnemonic Initiated Lucid Dream (MILD) technique. In this technique, you try to fall back to sleep and go to a lucid dream after having a vivid dream, which you can remember. We use prospective memory in this case. The prospective memory is helping us when we tried to wake up at a specific time and go to bed determined about waking up at that time.
“Wake-up, back to bed” method
G Scott Sparrow, lucid dreaming author, talks about a technique which is known as “wake-up, back to bed.” Researchers have found that when you sleep, then wake up, then go back to sleep again; it increases the possibility of lucidity. You can use this matter by setting your alarm few hours earlier than your usual wake-up time. Then you can engage yourself in some wakeful activity for some time and then you can go back to bed with a desire to dream.
Sometimes a subtle change in the surroundings may also help you achieve prompt lucidity. You can move your pillow to the opposite end. Any small change which disrupts your routine can cause lucid dreaming and you can “wake up” in your dream.
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